Sue Marshall blogs about diabetes for Desang

Diabetes Etiquette for Non-Diabetics | Diabetes News Hound | December 14, 2009

Some brilliant tips from Diabetes Health’s recent article outlining Dr Bill Polonsky’s etiquette points for people without diabetes. Summary below — superb!

* Don’t offer unsolicited dietary advice. There are many widely-held beliefs about diabetic dietary restrictions that are untrue. Plus, offering unsolicited advice about personal habits is not nice.

* Understand that managing diabetes is a 24 hour, 7 day a week balancing act. It’s a job that is hard work and one that people with diabetes did not ask for.

* Keep the horror stories you have heard about diabetes to yourself. People with diabetes know the score already.

* Offering to join a person with diabetes in healthy lifestyle changes is a positive way to show support and to encourage positive changes. Also, helping to set up an environment where it is easy to make healthy food choices is helpful.

* Checking blood sugar levels and giving injections are not fun, so calling extra attention to it or looking horrified when you see someone with diabetes doing any of these necessary things is not helpful. Also, peeking at someone’s blood sugar numbers or commenting on them can rub some people the wrong way. So, assume these numbers are private unless the person with diabetes brings them up in conversation.

* Its OK to ask how you might be able to help, but do not assume you know what is best when it comes to helping someone with diabetes manage their sugars.

* Offering thoughtless reassurances, such as “It could be worse, you could have cancer” is really not helpful. And, in fact, diabetes kills more people each year than cancer and AIDS combined, so having diabetes is a big deal.

* Do not insist a person with diabetes try a particular food if they decline. They know how their body reacts to certain foods.

via Diabetes Etiquette for Non-Diabetics | Diabetes News Hound.

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